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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Shorts > East Germany > Red Cartoons – Animation Before Unification: 16 Shorts From East Germany (1974 – 1990/First Run Features DVD)

Red Cartoons – Animation Before Unification: 16 Shorts From East Germany (1974 – 1990/First Run Features DVD)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Animated Shorts: B-



As far as East Block-produced cartoons are concerned, the furthest most U.S. audiences have seen are the dozen Tom & Jerry shorts made in the 1960s by Gene Deitch, who also had some of his other work produced there due to low budgets.  That still does not make those productions totally from those countries and Red Cartoons shows that a very lively production slate was being made in East Germany, no matter who missed it.


The shorts featured include:


Drum Beat (Otto Sacher, 1974)

Star & Flower (Otto Sacher, 1976)

Loneliness (Otto Sacher, 1979)

Variants (Klaus Georgi, 1979)

The Rescue (Sieglinde Hamacher, 1980)

Seven Rights Of A Viewer (Marion Rasche/Peter Mibbach, 1980)

Mr. Daff Is Shooting A Film (Klaus Georgi, 1980)

Hello (Hans Moser/Thomas Rosiι, 1984)

Consequence (Klaus Georgi, 1988)

The Solution (Sieglinde Hamacher, 1987)

Belly & Soul (Klaus Georgi, 1988)

The Breakdown (Klaus Georgi/Lutz Stutzer, 1988)

The Full Circle (Klaus Georgi, 1988)

The Monument (Klaus Georgi/Lutz Stutzer, 1989)

Sunday (Klaus Georgi/Lutz Stutzer, 1989)

Island Joke (Lutz Stutzer, 1990)



A fine, unique collection that does not involve much of anything political, they all run about an hour and are not only all good and interesting, but again remind us that there is something great about hand-drawn animation that no other form will replace as much as I enjoy others.  Serious animation fans will enjoy these unearthed gems.  Hope we see more.


The 1.33 X 1 image has good color and the prints are clean, but the culprit here (as in several DEFA/Icestorm DVD titles we have covered over the years) is ghosting of the image, as if someone could not convert PAL to NTSC or the like.  This does not happen all the time, but more than it should.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is usually monophonic but just fine for the presentations here.  If anything is stereo, it is barely so.  Extras include Slide Show: Behind The Scenes of DEFA (2007), Text Bio/Filmography, Made In East Germany essay, About The German Institute for Animation Film (DIAF) and recommendations to read more on the subject.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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